Press Release

Press Release
9 September 2021

TRANSFER DUTY REBATE EXTENSION HUGE WIN FOR APARTMENT MARKET

TRANSFER DUTY REBATE EXTENSION HUGE WIN FOR APARTMENT MARKET

The Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA WA) has welcomed the State Government’s announcement in today’s budget of the extension of the current Transfer Duty Rebate Scheme for a further two years.

“One of UDIA WA’s primary budget submission recommendations was the extension of the rebate scheme for off the plan units and apartments to deliver greater housing choice to buyers,” UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck said.

Currently the rebate is 75% of transfer duty up to $50,000 for off the plan purchases and was only available to 23 October 2021.

The extension will be reduced to a 50% rebate, available to October 2023.

According to UDIA, the scheme is also critical to attracting investors back into the WA market.

“The loss of investors in WA has negatively impacted all segments within the Perth property market,” Ms Steinbeck said.  “However, it has disproportionately affected built-form developers who are heavily reliant on pre-sales in order to commence projects.”

“UDIA fully supported the introduction of the rebate scheme in October 2019 and it has been demonstrably successful in getting more new apartment projects off the ground and creating jobs,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“We hope that continuing the scheme will also have a positive impact on the current low vacancy rate,” Ms Steinbeck said.

According to UDIA, increasing the supply of apartments will also assist many older households ‘age in place’ and support them to transition from a house into an apartment, freeing up desperately needed family housing stock in centrally located areas.

CONGRATULATIONS ON WA’s STRONG ECONOMIC POSITION

“In terms of the broader budget, the State Government must be congratulated on delivering a strong surplus and ensuring that WA’s economy is the top performing in the country,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“That strong performance is in no small part thanks to the development and construction industry,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“The building stimulus had a significant impact on our industry last year and developers and builders stepped up to the plate to do their part and contribute to exceptional state growth,” Ms Steinbeck said.

SKILLS SHORTAGE NOT ADEQUATELY ADDRESSED

“It is fantastic to see the commitment of a much needed $875 million social housing package that will have a tangible impact on those seeking affordable homes in WA,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“However, without addressing the current skills shortage it will be difficult to deliver the homes that need to be constructed within set timeframes.”

“The Premier noted in his Budget presentation the record high building approvals that we are currently working our way through and the kicker now is getting enough workers to WA in order to deliver on the pipeline of houses in the works,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“We are disappointed there is not a direct focus in the budget papers on the skills crisis in the short term,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“We absolutely welcome the training and apprenticeship funding, but that is all still months or years away in terms of having any impact on the current pool of workers,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“We need a much more targeted commitment to getting people here, not just for the sake of the building and construction industry, but also in areas such as agriculture, hospitality and tourism who are all equally desperate,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“The Premier himself admitted today that there is no easy solution to this issue due to shortfalls in the hotel quarantine system,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“Just because something is not easy, it doesn’t mean it can’t be addressed,” Ms Steinbeck said.  “We know our Premier has a fantastic track record in stepping up to tough challenges, we really need him to step up to this critical challenge.”

REGULATORY REFORM

Another positive in this year’s budget is the allocation of $120 million in funding toward regulatory reform.

“Money has been allocated toward more staff, particularly in the environmental approvals area, and that is much needed,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“One of the biggest causes of delays and added costs for development projects is the complex environmental approvals system,” Ms Steinbeck said. “Let’s hope this allocation of funding has the intended positive impact.”

PROPERTY TAX

“Once again, property taxes including Transfer Duty are one of the biggest sources of revenue for the State Government this year, particularly due to the current housing boom,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“We would love to see the State Government take a brave step forward in relation to property tax reform and take a longer-term review toward reforming stamp duty in particular,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“We see in the budget figures how revenue from transfer duty ebbs and flows with the market.  A broader based tax system, like what they are implementing in NSW, would be a welcome move and remove one of the biggest barriers to people downsizing or right sizing into more appropriate homes,” Ms Steinbeck said.

Again, we must congratulate the Premier and the State Government on a State Budget that reflects the strong economic position that WA finds itself in compared with other states in Australia and indeed in the world,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“We are the envy of many other jurisdictions and the development industry is proud to be playing an integral role in that success.”

End

Contact: 
Gemma Osiejak

Executive Manager Communications & Marketing
P: 0421 506 819
E: gosiejak@udiawa.com.au